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UTV Use In Historic Downtown Becomes Hot Button Issue

A spirited debate over Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs) sprang up during city administrator Martin Toma’s report to the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen last Thursday’s meeting.

Toma reported that he has been approached by a UTV owner wondering why permits must be renewed annually, while the county issues two-year permits. The individual suggested that the city match the county’s policy of granting two-year permits.

“I don’t see why not,” Toma said before getting feedback from several aldermen.

“I’m sorry,” Ward 1 Alderwoman Susie Johnson immediately replied. “I’ve gotten several complaints lately about UTVs, so I don’t think we should be going to the two years if we’re having some issues.”

“Now would be a good time to talk about it,” Toma said.

Johnson said, “speed, noise, running stop signs” were all issues she has received complaints about. She said she has also seen drivers and passengers, including children, not wearing seat belts.

“Especially in the historic district,” said Ward 1 Alderman Gary Smith, who said he received complaints about UTVs driving through downtown streets on June 8 as part of the Spring for Down Syndrome’s UTV Poker Run.

“That put a lot of people on edge,” Smith said. “I agree; no more than one year.”

The board in 2018 passed the ordinance to allow UTVs with permits renewed each year in January.

See the June 19 edition of the Herald for the complete story.

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